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rfrobison
07-13-2011, 07:37 PM
My fellow Americans:

We have something to cheer about from the world of futbol. The Women's National Team overcame a scrappy French Resistance to win 3-1 in the semifinals.

The U.S. women have a chance to win their first World Cup since 1999 -- those were the good ol' days when Bill Clinton was president, GDP growth was like 5 zillion percent per week and unemployment was negative 16% or something! And as Dave Barry says, "I'm not making this up," the federal government was in surplus (for my Dem friends) -- ehem, when they face Japan (Yea!) in the finals after they beat Sweden 3-1.

Here's to you, ladies! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kB7OR161-U) Yee-haw!

chiwhisoxx
07-13-2011, 07:42 PM
there is no god. there is only abby wambach

rfrobison
07-13-2011, 07:45 PM
God made Abby Wambach! Way to go, God!

miceelf
07-13-2011, 09:55 PM
Sadly, this means I won't get to watch Marie-Laure Delie any more....

uncle ebeneezer
07-14-2011, 12:39 PM
Alternately: The highly evolved human brain invented the concept of God. Three cheers for the highly evolved human brain!! ;)

I would love to hear a serious sports diavlog about why the US women's soccer program has been so much more successful than the men's. And of course, hat's off to the American gals.

chiwhisoxx
07-14-2011, 01:19 PM
Alternately: The highly evolved human brain invented the concept of God. Three cheers for the highly evolved human brain!! ;)

I would love to hear a serious sports diavlog about why the US women's soccer program has been so much more successful than the men's. And of course, hat's off to the American gals.

I think there are two main reasons for their success compared to the men. The competition is much less stiff in women's soccer; women's teams don't have the long traditions, funding, and infrastructure that men's teams do. So when the U.S. decided to seriously invest in the women's team, we had a relative advantage. And in a related point, there just aren't nearly as many women's teams. The women's world cup has half as many teams as the mens. And there are cultural factors preventing some countries from having competitive women's teams. I don't think the Iranians are going to field a competitive squad for their women in the near future.

Don Zeko
07-14-2011, 01:46 PM
I think there are two main reasons for their success compared to the men. The competition is much less stiff in women's soccer; women's teams don't have the long traditions, funding, and infrastructure that men's teams do. So when the U.S. decided to seriously invest in the women's team, we had a relative advantage. And in a related point, there just aren't nearly as many women's teams. The women's world cup has half as many teams as the mens. And there are cultural factors preventing some countries from having competitive women's teams. I don't think the Iranians are going to field a competitive squad for their women in the near future.

I would have guessed that a big part of this is that there is no professional or semi-professional women's football league. So that means women's soccer has less competition for talent from similar sports than men's soccer does in the states. I mean, it seems pretty clear that if all of the boys and young men in America that play touch football, high school football, football in NCAA college teams and so forth all put that same level of training and dedication into soccer and while receiving an equivalent amount of institutional and social support, we'd have far more top-tier American soccer players than we currently do.

chiwhisoxx
07-14-2011, 04:07 PM
I would have guessed that a big part of this is that there is no professional or semi-professional women's football league. So that means women's soccer has less competition for talent from similar sports than men's soccer does in the states. I mean, it seems pretty clear that if all of the boys and young men in America that play touch football, high school football, football in NCAA college teams and so forth all put that same level of training and dedication into soccer and while receiving an equivalent amount of institutional and social support, we'd have far more top-tier American soccer players than we currently do.

that's a good point, but women's soccer does have to deal with other sports type activities that men don't have to deal with; ballet, gymnastics, field hockey, etc. I don't know if it's totally parallel (I doubt it is) but there are other activities taking potential female soccer players away.

Ocean
07-14-2011, 06:07 PM
I think there are two main reasons for their success compared to the men. The competition is much less stiff in women's soccer; women's teams don't have the long traditions, funding, and infrastructure that men's teams do. So when the U.S. decided to seriously invest in the women's team, we had a relative advantage. And in a related point, there just aren't nearly as many women's teams. The women's world cup has half as many teams as the mens. And there are cultural factors preventing some countries from having competitive women's teams. I don't think the Iranians are going to field a competitive squad for their women in the near future.

Yes, all that sounds right to me. There's no serious tradition of women's soccer in other countries. So the competition is more even.

uncle ebeneezer
07-14-2011, 08:15 PM
Yes, and I agree that the big $$ (in addition to the cultural popularity historically) in football, basketball, etc., probably causes many male athletes to gravitate towards those sports, who could probably also excel in soccer if they played it.

rfrobison
07-15-2011, 08:30 AM
...I don't think the Iranians are going to field a competitive squad for their women in the near future.

Maybe not, but consider: If you could dribble down the wing, loop a cross into the box and one-time it in a chador, just how good would you be in a regular soccer uni? Maybe it's all part of Iran's long-range plan for women's soccer domination.

THINK about it....

miceelf
07-15-2011, 09:44 AM
The Iranians HAVE fielded a women's soccer team. Whatever probelms there may be with playing in the conservative islamic dress, the real problem turned out to be FIFA's assessment of the clothing (it bans religious clothing and icons):

http://www.proreferee.com/2011/06/iran-womens-olympic-dream-crushed-by-dress-code-ruling/

Iranian men are really only competitive internationally in wrestling. Which I imagine would be an interesting sport for Iranian women to break into.

rfrobison
07-15-2011, 09:24 PM
Good luck, ladies, in Sunday's final. 日本を潰せ!(Crush Japan!)

And good luck to this Marine Captain, too! (http://www.thepostgame.com/features/201107/marine-afghanistan-asks-hope-solo-be-his-date-officers-ball)

miceelf
07-17-2011, 05:41 PM
Are they rioting in the streets, rfrobison? I thought it was a great game.

rfrobison
07-17-2011, 05:56 PM
A heartbreaking loss for the U.S. women. I only got to see bits and pieces of this one, unfortunately. When the U.S. went up toward the end of the first period of overtime, I thought we'd won it.

But Japan never gave up. Their ace striker, Homare Sawa, scored a very clever one touch off a corner that knotted up the score very late in the second overtime period.

From there on out it was Japan's match. During the break before the PKs, the Japanese side was loose; players were smiling. They'd earned their spot. Their American opponents, by contrast, were tense. They'd blown it in allowing Japan to tie the score and you could see on their faces they'd lost confidence.

Congratulations to Japan on a gritty performance. 撫子Japan,世界一!(Ladies of Japan, World Champions!)

And a musical tribute in the form of a traditional folk song from my "native" Hokkaido with a jazz arrangement (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohc35YDBhMc). Enjoy.

rfrobison
07-17-2011, 06:00 PM
Are they rioting in the streets, rfrobison? I thought it was a great game.

Doubt there'll be riots, but we can look forward to the Japanese women appearing on every talk show for the next six months at least. I only saw bits and pieces of this one. I also thought it was a good game.

And though I'm bummed that the U.S. lost, Japan deserves a shot in the arm with all they've been through in recent months. The Japanese women gave them one.

chiwhisoxx
07-17-2011, 06:22 PM
sigh.

rfrobison
07-17-2011, 07:01 PM
sigh.

Sigh.

miceelf
07-17-2011, 07:43 PM
In sports, I tend to go back to my roots and pull for Canada. That wasn't an option here, and my second line is to root for the underdog. So I was mildly rooting for Japan.

I have a hard spot in my heart for Hope Solo, but that's a story for another time.